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  • The Beginner's Fast Start Guide Hi and thank you for downloading this Beginner's Fast Start Guide.

    This guide was designed to help begining artist who just started drawing or people who started drawing when they were kids but gave it up for a long time and is looking for a quick and easy way to get back into the game.

    This guide will give you all the essential knowledge you need to know in order to start your drawing journey in the right direction.

    Now you won't have to waste time being frustrated and confused looking for bit and pieces of information all over the place.

    Everything you need to know to get started has been consolidated into one place.

    With that in mind, let's get started.

    Choosing Your Art Supplies When it comes to art supplies, there are so many different tools you can choose from that you can easily get sucked into a buying frenzy before you even started drawing anything. But the truth is, there is only a few essential tools you need to get started and they are a pencil and paper.

    Selecting Your Pencil: 2B Or Not 2B

    If you've every read or watched any drawing tutorial, you've probably heard the word "2B" or "4B" refered to often.

    If you've ever wondered what this meant, then you're in luck. Here is the whole pencil system in a nutshell.

    Pencils range in hardest and is denoted by a grade (2B or 4B, etc.). The hardness scale looks like this:

    9H, 8H, 7H, 6H, 5H, 4H, 3H, 2H, H, F, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8B, 9B

  • 9H is the hardest and 9B is the softest. In the US there is another number only system that is used but you don't need to be concerned about it. Just know that the #2 pencil that is commonly used for writing is the equivalent hardness of an HB pencil.

    The softer the pencil, the darker the tone you are able to make with it.

    Here's a illustration to show you the difference in darkness that comes with each pencil:

    So which pencil should you get?

    When it comes to pencil, less is more. You don't want to be using a whole bunch of different pencils while drawing because you'll grow to rely on them as a crutch.

    Instead you should you only 1-2 pencil and rely on your drawing skills to create the different tones.

    When choosing a pencil, the hardest grade you would want to get is an HB. I recommend that you start out in the 2B - 6B range and see how that feels.

  • As time goes on, you'll want to experiment with different pencils, but you'll eventually select your favorite and stick with that.

    If you don't feel like shopping around, I recommend the Prismacolors COL-ERASE pencil. You can't really go wrong get it.

    I also like to draw using a .5mm mechinical (or lead) pencil using 2B lead. It's great for making fine lines and you never have to shapen it.

    When chosing a mechanical pencil, the brand doesn't really matter much. They all work pretty much the same.

    What's important is the grip of the pencil and how it feels on your hand. So play around with a few and see how it feels to you.

    Selecting The Right Drawing Paper

    Your drawing paper is just as important as your pencil, so once again you'll want to experiment and see which one feels best for you.

    But for now I'll recommend 2 drawing pads that are a great place to start.

    If you are on a budget, I recommend the Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Premium Recycled 80bl pad.

    I also like the Strathmore 11-Inch by 14-Inch Bristol Smooth Paper Pad. It's great for drawing realistic pencil portrait because the smoothness of the paper really lends itself to blending.

    And that's basically all the material you need to get started. Now are there other art supplies out there that you could get?

    Of course!

    But the need for them will come with time. For now, this is all you need.

    OK, now that we got the art material out of the way, let's get to the fun stuff!

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  • Developing Your Hand-Eye Coordination And Dexterity If you haven't been drawing in a while, your hand coordination can be a bit rusty. And it can be somewhat frustrating or overwhelming to just jump right in and tackle a drawing project.

    So I'm going to give you a set of simple drawing exercises you can do to strengthen your hand-eye coordination and improve your hand dexterity.

    These exercises are great for developing your fundamental drawing skills. The analogy that I like to use is this:

    A boxing coach doesn't just throw his fighter in the ring right away and expect him to win. Most likely, the boxer will just get beat up, become frustrated, and want to quit.

    Instead, the coach gives the box a set of exercises to do, like doing push-ups, practicing jabs, and training with a speed punching bag. These exercises will give him the fundamental skills he needs and make him a better fighter overall.

    In the same way, these exercises I'm giving you are the artist's equivalent of push-ups and practicing jabs. As you continue to practice these exercises, your overall skills as an artist will improve and everything that you draw will become easier, weather it's figure drawing, portraits, or landscape.

    Now, i said that these exercise are to help people who haven't drawn in a long time and are rusty, but even if you are an experience artists who draws a lot, you will still find these exercises very valuable.

    In the same way that a champion box still continues to train with push-ups and running laps, you too should incorporate these exercises into your daily art routine.

    OK, let's get on to the exercises...

    Fast Start Drawing Exercises Exercises #1: Staying On The Road

    To do this exercises, first draw a smooth, curvy shape on your paper. Something that looks like this:

  • Then take your pencil and go over the shape making sure to stay on the line as best you can. Just keep going over the line again and again in multiple loops.

    Here an example of the wrong way to do this:

    Once you become comfortable (or bored) with that shape, draw another shape and repeat the process.

    This exercises will improve your hand eye coordination and dexterity by forcing you to engage tiny muscles in your hand.

    You can also use this exercise as a great way to warm up before you draw. Practice this everyday for about 5 minutes

    Exercise #2: Developing The Artist's Touch

  • Once you are comfortable with the last exercise, it's time to add another layer of difficulty to it.

    Draw another curvy shape on your paper, but this time, I want you to start with a dark tone for you line, and then gradually lighten it until you end up with a very light line.

    It should look something like this:

    Now go over this shape with your pencil just like in the previous exercises. Except this time, also pay attention to how much pressure you are putting on your pencil. Vary the pressure gradually so that you can give each segment of the shape a different tone.

    This exercise will help you develop the artist's touch (the ability to gracefully vary the tone of your drawing).

    This ability to vary the lightness and darkness of your pencil stroke is also the secret to drawing really realistic, three dimensional drawings.

    Exercise #3: Mastering The Fundamental Shapes Of Drawing

    Now that you are comfortable with the last 2 exercise, it's time to increase the difficulty level even more.

    When drawing the human figure, you will notice that certain shapes appear over and over again. You can think of these shapes as the fundamental building blocks of the human figure and it would help you tremendously to be able to draw them easily.

    So in this exercise, you will repeat the process you went through in Exercise #2, except this time, instead of a curvy shape that you just make up, I want you to practice using the fundamental shapes of figure drawing.

  • And these shapes are: the circle, the oval, the rounded triangle, the cylinder, and the peanut shape.

    The peanut shape in particular will be very helpful to you in figure drawing as it is great for representing the torso.

    These shapes also comes in varying dimensions. For example, an oval could be a very long oval or a more rounded oval. So make sure you play around with the shapes so that you become comfortable creating all sorts of different versions of a shape.

    By moving your hand in these shapes repeatedly, you will find that you need to drawing in in your figure drawing, you'll be able to produce them easily and accurately. And as a result, your figures will look much better.

  • Exercise #4: Matching Shapes

    This next exercise will train your hand eye coordination and help you develop the skill that will allow you to look at any object and replicate it on paper.

    To do this exercise, first drawing any shape you want using straight lines and angles. You can make the shape as complicated or simple as you are comfortable with. It should look something like this.

    Then right next to the shape you just drew, try to replicate it as closely as possible.

    You might find that this is harder than it sounds. Just keep practice and repeat this process with brand new shapes.

    This skill will also help you get very good at matching negative space.

    When doing these exercises, you might find them rather easy to do. That's great! Keep doin